First look in mirror with no teeth.....

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I was curious as to everyone's reaction the first time they saw their face in the mirror with no teeth. I had done tons of googling about dentures, extractions, etc before the procedure and was quite horrified at the images online of what the inside of the mouth would like like post op. I reassured myself and figured I'd cross that road when I got to it. I vividly remember the fear I felt the first day I had to remove the immediates myself to swish with salt water and clean the dentures. I stood there sweating and shaking with fear ready to face a mouthful of holes, possibly blood, stitches etc... I got them out ok, gently placed them in a cup of water and surveyed the damage. Yup....potholes, some blood, and lots of zig zagged yellow stitching, overall, pretty much what I was expecting. I felt instant relief and was actually proud of myself for crossing that hurdle. Then horror struck.....I looked up in the mirror at my face, mouth closed.....OMG,OMG,OMG!!!!!!!!! My face looked collapsed! I was by no means prepared for THAT! I immediately went to tears and just fell apart, totally horror struck! I was totally appalled at the image looking back at me. My mouth and lips felt like floppy uncontrollable rubber! I looked like a hound dog with floppy jowls and when I tried to speak gibberish came out instead of words. What had I done? I looked 20 years older! What would my husband think?

I am bringing this matter up to warn all of those about to step into the denture process. I've been following along on this message board since just before my extractions a little more than a month ago and had never seen a post about this particular subject. Honestly just the mental acceptance of having to get dentures was hard enough, never mind the fear of extractions, appearance with new "teeth", pain etc..... I mean logically speaking I should have anticipated "the collapsed" look of my appearance but with so many other things racing through my mind before the extractions and post op, I was totally unprepared for this. My self esteem was crushed! Yup....my plastic smile looked better than my original teeth but without them in I looked like hell. I also wasn't prepared for having to speak to the dentist and assistants without teeth as they made adjustments, or trying to answer the phone when my teeth were soaking. Forming words without teeth is extremely difficult and frustrating!

As I have said its been over a month for me now. Due to a problem with the original immediates I was given I had to stop wearing them while new ones are being made. I was forced to see my toothless face on a regular basis, answer the phone and speak to people regularly without teeth. The muscles around your mouth get stronger daily and words become easier. The muscles also seem to strengthen up and the collapsed look isn't as bad.... Things do get better! My warning though, especially to the much younger folks......be prepared for this .....your teeth support your lips and face.....
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Kelly

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Posted 5 years ago

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Fyllis

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Kelly,

Thank you so much for this report! I am sure there are a lot of people who weren't expecting what they saw 'afterward'.

Personally, I didn't have the 'collapsed face' but, that could be because I still have 10 teeth on the bottom in the back (5 on each side). However, I have to say, when I took my dentures out the first time here at home I couldn't stop laughing! OMG! I was making faces at myself in the mirror and talking to myself and watching all the contortions my face was going through! LOL

I am SO not a vain person.  Perhaps because I was a nurse for 22 years and I have seen more things than the law allows, I wasn't as 'offended' by my appearance as some people might be? I know that when my dentures are in, I look so much better and different than before.

Being without teeth from time to time is something that I am going to experience so, it is something I have to learn to deal with and except. I'm not afraid, ashamed, or embarrassed to have other people see me without my teeth. If they liked me before with my old and ugly teeth, and they like me now with my new teeth, they damned well better accept me when I give them the occasional gummy grin I might flash! LOL

I've said in other posts, 'Positive attitude brings positive results', and I truly believe that. So, instead of focusing on what you look like to others without your teeth, focus on what you look like (and FEEL) to yourself with your new smile! Learn to accept yourself and others will accept you in like.

I'm not afraid to go without make-up; I'm not afraid to be seen with hairy legs. I'm not afraid to be seen with my hair twisted up in a knot or a ponytail; and I am not afraid to be seen with my teeth. I am still the same person now as I was before.... and I like me!

Fyllis


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charlid61

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It took me 3.5 weeks before I could start trying food.  It was 5 weeks before I could eat whatever I wanted.  Soft foods up to that point.  Do salt water rinses several times a day.  It will help with the soreness and any swelling.  Introduce food slowly.  Some things you will be able to do right away, others will take longer.
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Koralman

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The salt water rinses help with pain? That’s great. I will start up again. Thanks. Day 6 here. Upper and lower.
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Rachel Barrow

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My mouth is so bad I can’t eat. I can’t afford dentures. I work but don’t have the money and I have no insurance. I’m on a laxative because I can’t chew so I’m constapated all the time.my photo is horrible but I need to show it. I got my 11 year old dentures in they are worn to the grave. Please help!
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Rachel Barrow

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Kylie Oughton

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Your posts are a lot of help, my teeth are terrible i no they will fall out any day but i cant bring myself to the dentist.
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Nomoreteeth

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I believe your comment fulfills the majority of individuals that experience total extraction, BUT NOT ALL! Having had inferior teeth all of my adult life, when the dentist finally accepted my request for extraction, seeing me that day and now almost five years later, is a positive event.

I walked out of my dentist office without dentures. I sat in my car using various mirrors just looking how great I look without teeth; tears of joy were present. Now with almost 5 years in this situation, I readily leave my dentures behind. I've been told by numerous people that my normal look without dentures is not significant to alter anyone's viewpoint. I enjoy the feeling of having nothing in my mouth but realize specific times they must be present (eating & business) but never find my image in the mirror offensive. My naked smile is good for me!
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Patti Howard Greene

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They started pulling my teeth in june so slowly my face was sunken in only had the Last six on top left in January when they had my dentures ready it was weird seeing my self with teeth in when I got my new teeth that's what was so crazy.but I won't go out of the house with out my teeth now.
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Kath

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I have had ugly teeth my whole life. I feel just like you. Someone recently commented on my new dentures and what a lovely smile.
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Fyllis

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There you go!

It's just a matter of how one person reacts opposed to another.

I know a girl who called off work on a Monday because she didn't have time to 'wash the grey' out of her hair over the weekend! Did she really believe no one noticed her miniscule grey hair on Friday?

What happens when situations arise that might affect your otherwise 'normal' appearance that you have no control over ... like, getting a wrinkle or a zit? At least you can put your dentures in and show yourself to the world.

Yea, it was surprising when I saw myself in the mirror; It was a drastic change to what I looked like before. The only tears I shed were due to laughter!  But I guess I have too many more prominent worries on my plate than to worry over how other people perceive me.

So, here I am for all the world to see... Before, After, and In Between!  I hope this makes you laugh!

Fyllis

   
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charlid61

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Beautiful!!
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Rachel Barrow

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They look great! Makes me cry because my mouth looks like your before.
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Rachel Barrow

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Carla Johnson

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Did anyone having trouble keeping your botyom denture in? Mine will not even hold with glue.
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Landon S Johnson

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Everyone... from what I have read. Gotta be patient - hard to hit a moving target.
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Kelly

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Stephanie,
Don't be afraid. I was so worried about my appearance with new teeth that I really hadnt thought about what I would look like with no teeth. I was worried sick ...would they be white enough ? Would they be the right size and shape? etc..... I overthought that aspect of the situation and hadn't given any thought to what my appearance would be WITH OUT teeth at all. I wrote this post so others wouldn't be caught totally off guard as I was. I'm sure you read the wonderful posts by the others.....everyone's reaction to their new naked mouth is different. Some were quite humorous! I can tell you with no reservation that I would not want my old teeth back and that my mouth feels healthier and cleaner than ever. I'm about a month and a half in to this process and I am still adjusting to my new appearance. It takes times. Please stay on the boards, the amount of support here is incredible.
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david mont

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Thanks for the post! Even though it is 4 years old it perfectly describes my reaction 3 days ago after extractions and implants. I've only glanced at my lower jaws and the zig-zag of sutures...that is enough information for me at this time. Your post and others here are encouraging to me and give me a spirit of optimism for my future with a healthy mouth! Thanks!
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Jay

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I hate to say it, but I won't look at myself.  When I go to my boyfriends for the night, I'm taking them out after he falls asleep, then slipping into the bathroom at 4:30 am to put them back in.  I wish I were more comfortable and I know my boyfriend wouldn't mind at all. I hope to get over this some time soon. 

To be honest, I have not even told anyone I got dentures.  
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Snake Charmer

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Please, tell your boyfriend!  If he pushes you away, that's his loss.  Some things are better without teeth.  I won't go into detail but some of you may know what I'm talking about.  ;)
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Kath

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Everyone knows about my dentures, but I have not gone without them yet. Of course my husband has seen, but after 50 years of marriage he has seen worse.